impotence

noun

im·​po·​tence ˈim-pə-tən(t)s How to pronounce impotence (audio)
: the quality or state of being impotent: such as
a
: lack of power, strength, or vigor : weakness
… the growing impotence of governments in the face of corporate willfulness and regional factionalism.Alan Wexelblat
b
: an abnormal physical or psychological state of a male characterized by inability to engage in sexual intercourse because of failure to have or maintain an erection : erectile dysfunction

Examples of impotence in a Sentence

the congressional committee's essential impotence in affecting the management of the war was frustrating to its members
Recent Examples on the Web Some objected, of course, and some pleaded their cases, but there was a recognizable absence of the sort of rage that can only ever be rooted in impotence. Rory Smith, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2023 As Israel pursues its punishing ground offensive in Gaza and the casualties mount, the Palestinian Authority’s impotence only comes into sharper relief. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 The problem is that eliminating testosterone in men has some substantial unwanted side effects, including impotence, weight gain, decreased muscle mass and feminization. Gretchen Cuda Kroen, cleveland, 10 Aug. 2023 Cialis is a medication that contains tadalafil, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and impotence. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Sep. 2023 In Pinter, troubled vision is often associated with impotence and diminished vitality. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 The news cycle hit its nadir last week, when Fox News’s chief conspiracist, Tucker Carlson, suggested that the Biden administration and mainstream media were covering up the real causes of the egg shortage: chicken farms burning down and commercial feed that causes impotence. Boyce Upholt, The New Republic, 6 Feb. 2023 Unable to prevent this Israeli incursion or protect Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority’s impotence is apparent for all to see. Dov Waxman, The Conversation, 6 July 2023 From the crushing impotence, a torturous fearlessness grows within the heartbroken mother. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impotence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impotence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near impotence

Cite this Entry

“Impotence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impotence. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

impotence

noun
im·​po·​tence ˈim-pət-ən(t)s How to pronounce impotence (audio)
: the quality or state of being impotent

Medical Definition

impotence

noun
im·​po·​tence ˈim-pət-ən(t)s How to pronounce impotence (audio)
1
: the quality or state of not being potent
drug-resistant bacteria are a virulent indicator of the growing impotence of antibiotics
2
: an abnormal physical or psychological state of a male characterized by inability to engage in sexual intercourse because of failure to have or maintain an erection

called also erectile dysfunction

More from Merriam-Webster on impotence

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